Old (Sad and Also Non Working In Any Way) Gate:
P. S. I still have to stain it. Hopefully it won’t always be so…pink.
I’m starting to realize that pointless and elaborate decorating schemes aside, the order in which we’ll tackle house projects will simply be the order in which things break.
In other news, Mr. E spent his day off working on our new gate.
He spent about fourteen years driving back and forth to Home Depot and explaining to me why the gate couldn’t look the way I wanted it to look, why the picture in my idea book wasn’t going to work out.
I gently suggested (haaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa) that he might want to try a real lumber store and see what they had to say. After much moaning about how he certainly didn’t think he’d be walking into a lumber yard clutching his wife’s idea book in his hand, he departed, clutching my idea book in one hand, and returned with a Jetta trunk full of redwood boards and the instructions he needed to build me the gate I had requested.
I pointed out that once again teamwork had come to our rescue. Mr. E remains highly suspicious of all endeavors involving teams and or work, and has yet to be convinced of the advantage of combining these dubious forces.
I can’t help but wonder what’s going to break next. I am hopeful that it might be our wretched front door, but I’m guessing it’s going to be something highly non decorative, like a 1998 Jetta Carburator.
Don’t you love those days when your two year old starts rubbing his eyes and whining at 10 am but refuses to take a nap no matter how many times you put him down so you spend four precious hours of your day just trying to get him to sleep over and over again but it never works so you’re forced to put off your run until the absolute hottest and sunniest and somehow also windiest part of the day so you feel as though no matter how many times you force yourself out there you never make any progress at all and then you feel guilty because you’re grateful your son is in the 3rd percentile because just imagine pushing a kid in a jogging stroller who was in the 93rd percentile and then all the mail is nothing more than crappy ads for furniture you’d never buy and a DVD you don’t want to watch because you are stupidly optimistic when you put movies on your queue and then even though you feel like at least you can finally take charge of something because your son’s referral for the gastroenterologist arrives and you call your insurance to make sure the doctor you want to take him to is covered and they assure you that he is when you call the doctor to make an appointment you you get transferred four times and then they tell you that you can’t make an appointment because a REFERRAL is not the same thing as an AUTHORIZATION which you don’t have yet and which they may or may not give you because why in god’s name would they make it easy for a sick little boy to get to see a doctor who might know what’s wrong with him and then when you finally do go on your run not only does your ankle hurt because it always hurts but your sinuses are also killing you because of course you just can’t get a pass and have one run that just doesn’t suck not that it matters anyway because no matter how much you run you never lose any weight and in fact judging by how your too tight sports bra fit this morning you might have actually gained weight and you’re trying to make a pie so you can bring it with you to dinner at your friends house but any time you attempt to detach your (NON NAPPING) two year old from your leg he screams as though he’s being stabbed with a red hot poker and have you ever had gluten free crust probably you’ve never been so lucky but let me just say that making that pie crust made me want to kick fourteen people in the shins and it’s one of those nasty hot but cloudy days that yoyou cannot stand because really all I ask in this life is a little sunshine and you pay out the nose for 960 square feet in the state of California and it is not to spend your afternoons on your back porch below a cover of CLOUDS and even though you cleaned all day yesterday your house already looks disgusting covered with laundry and dirty dishes and dog hair and dirty diapers but you carve out time to empty the dishwasher and then you have to make a pie and your kitchen is once again covered with dishes and parchment paper and half empty bottles and smears of butter and hot dog chunks and your bed is covered with clean and dirty laundry that’s been unsalvageably mixed together and you don’t have any good library books left to read and your toenail polish is chipped and you’re too lazy and tired to fix it and you really should shave your legs but for that you’d need 12 minutes alone and you take your trash cans out to the curb early and notice that no one else has their trash cans out yet and you wonder if your neighbors hate you for being a blight on the neighborhood and you imagine that you’re probably already known as the “loud” family since you spend all day trying not to yell “No” and “Stop” and “Don’t poop on your turtle” and failing in this attempt and then your pie burns and your computer has a virus and you can’t help but notice that your entire outfit is the moral equivalent of an old t shirt and your son spits out everything you persuade him to put in his mouth and no one on Craigslist wants to buy your old crap and the people you want to buy things from won’t call you back even though you’re not really supposed to be spending any money and all that’s left in your refrigerator is string cheese and old lettuce and the soup you ate for lunch makes you sick and you can’t find your other flip flop and you know you shouldn’t complain about any of this because some people have it so much worse but you’re waiting for your new meds to kick in and you’re coming down off your old meds and you’re so exhausted from your endless rapid fire dreams and your hot sweaty all night blanket clutching that every time a synapse fires in your head you think “Is that it? Am I fixed yet? Or is this the time it all stops working forever like David Foster Wallace and I sink into despair and no one and nothing can save me?”
(Hint: I do not love those days)
So lots of my peeps out there in blog land have tried this “30 Days of No Spending Money” thing and I always thought it sounded interesting. And by interesting I mean it sounded pretty easy, so easy that I didn’t even need to try it, because of course I wouldn’t have any problem not spending any money, what was the big deal anyway? I could so do that, not spend any money. Like, any time I felt like it. Duh. Obviously I didn’t even need to try it.
So I can’t help but notice that at our house money seems to be flying out the window a lot faster these days than it is flying in, thanks in no small part to the fact that I really really like spending money, almost as much as I love stuff. I am great at shopping. But it’s kind of maybe gotten out of hand lately, especially what with the fact that I am massive perfectionist and and Iwant my house to be done and perfect and awesome and I need a new door and I need to tile my front steps RIGHT NOW oh my god I hate my front door.
I have a budget, a monthly budget, but lately said budget has become more about all the different places I can spend money, instead of all the different places I can save money. It’s not turning out to be a very good plan to spend ALL the money Mr. E makes every month, even if I do really really really want a new front door.
When I think about not spending ANY money for 30 days I kind of want to throw up. When I think about not spending any money for 30 days I have to take a really deep breath. That’s what makes me think it’s probably the right thing to do. And I have the feeling my savings account is going to thank me, even if J Crew is not, and it would be nice if my bank account balance made me feel a little more like doing a dance and less like throwing up. For sure.
I really hate worrying about money. For the longest time I think I may have been under the impression that the way to not worry about money was to spend it, freely, willy nilly, all over the place. Not a care in the world. Now I’m wondering if maybe the way to not worry about money so much might be to save some of it. Huh. Radical, eh?
So, from now until May 1st (that’s twelve extra days! Go me!) I am not going to spend any extra money, besides things like groceries and bills and prescriptions and toilet paper. All the rest of it is going into savings, even if it kills me. Oh, but I do have to note a few exceptions ahead of time, just to buy myself a little wiggle room. So here are the only things I am allowed to buy between now and May 1st:
1. Plane tickets to my sister in laws wedding
2. a birthday present for my brother
3. new mandals for Eli, since he is outgrowing the ones he had last summer
4. a blender so we can make milkshakes for Senor Pants.
5. the yellow bowl I already commissioned on Etsy.
6. the battery operated lawnmower I am ordering today since SMUD is giving us a break on it and our old lawnmower is the suck.
7. Hanging baskets for the front porch, assuming my petunia seeds actually grow.
8. a few things at the Alameda Flea Market since I’ve been trying to go there my whole life and I actually think we might finally go in April.
9. The doorknob I found on Ebay that is absolutely perfect for the front door I don’t have yet.
Please note. After typing them all out I am thinking some of those exceptions might be a tidge bogus. Number 4, 7, 8, and 9 are giving me pause. What do you think?
I have the feeling this will be a most enlightening experiment. I also have to wonder. I am trying to spend less time online, and now I can’t spend any money. Battlestar Galactica is ending. And I’m on a diet. So what the hell am I supposed to do all day?
So, dudes, what’s up?
Here’s what’s up with me.
I bought this blanket chest thingee on Craigslist for $50, and since it came in a shade of “No thank you 1985” oak I wasn’t too fond of, I am in the process of painting it white. Mr. E chose the color because after I said I wanted it to be cream but not yellow but not too creamy but definitely not yellow and also not too stark white but not a weird dark creamy that clashes with things all the paint chips started to blend together and then I actually started to get offended by how many colors of cream there are in the world and oh my god I was going to choose a way too yellow cream wasn’t I and then I had to walk away from the paint aisle towards lighting.
So Mr. E chose the color and he chose a lovely color, even the name – White Hydrangea – is delightful, which is lucky, because I enjoy repeating the name as I paint coat after coat after coat of the worlds crappiest Home Depot paint. Seriously, I have painted two coats of primer and four coats of regular paint and the damn thing is still splotchy and I will thank you not to suggest that any of this could be the fault of the painter, and also please remind me of this when I bitch about the cost of non sucky paint when I finally get around to painting my dining room brown, a color I am certain to hate as soon as it is applied (expensively) to my walls. I look forward to covering that up.
There are lots of other thoughts swirling around in my brain – my parents are getting older and I really hate that more than I’d imagined. Mr. E has declared Zoloft Two Electric Bugaloo to be a failure. I am making my mom a pillow for her birthday. I wish I was better at saving money and I wish I wasn’t so fond of stuff and at the same time I can’t help but wonder where the heck all this stuff came from. (Maybe there’s a connection there!). I am delighted beyond measure that my daffodils came up and my tulips have followed and hey! Things I planted grew! There’s hope for the world yet.
I’m sprouting tomato seeds and pepper seeds and my dining room smells a tidge musty. I wish my husband would just freaking learn to put away his clean clothes already, for the love of peet. I’m going to try to make some gluten free irish soda bread for dinner. Eli’s sleeping is the suck. I wonder all the time if I should go back to work. I miss eating oatmeal for breakfast every morning more than I miss beer and pizza and cake combined.
And yet, through it all, I paint.